Orange Wine/ Skin Contact / Amber Wine a wine style known by many names.
What on earth is orange wine???
Orange (aka amber/skin contact) wine is a kind of white wine, made with white grapes but treated as if they were being used to make red wine. The result is a wine which is orange in colour, highly delicious and a fantastic companion to food.
Here’s are some top of our top picks for some skin contact fun. We've put together our March curated packs, you can buy them below or click on each wine to purchase individually. Just make sure you open and share you’re experience.
“Make sure you’re sitting down when you taste your first orange wine.” – David Harvey (Raeburn wines).
One of the best Portuguese wineries we’ve come across recently, forward thinking, fun and experimental with their methods but the wines are serious kit. Very luscious and rich on the palate, some wonderful quince and candied orange peel coming through.
We love this wine, one of the newest editions to the shop from sunny Scilly. The grapes here are Grillo & Zibibbo (aka Muscat of Alexandria), both aromatic styles of grapes which lend themselves to this style of wine. This wine needs some time to breathe before drink but is generous and complex when it opens up.
Speaking of sunshine, next we head to the Central Coast of California. A nice introduction to orange wine, only a small amount of skin contact so not too in your face. It’s an interesting blend of Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Albarino, Verdelho and Riesling. The result is a spicy and energetic wine with some textured mandarin flavours to balance.
This skin contact wine is made down in Battersea Arches at Black Book winery. The sauvignon comes from Crouch End in Essex, there is not much of it planted in the UK. There is only a handful of English winemakers making this style of wine. Destemmed and fermented on skins using indigenous yeast and then pressed into an old burgundy barrel, where it aged for 7 months with frequent lees stirring, to give it that weighty texture. It is easy-going, expressive and textured, lots of dried citrus coupled with tropical and stone fruit. Only 260 bottles so be quick.
The wildest of the bunch – it’s cloudy due to it not being fine filtered but once you get past that it’s super crunchy with fresh apricots. Almost reminds you of white burgundy with the texture and weight. The vines here are between 90 / 100 years old which gives lots of concentration of flavour. The Muscat & Semillon compliment each other perfectly – the Semillon giving fleshy weight and the muscat for freshness and aromatics.
Pieter Walser, an experimental wine maker who we all struggle to keep up with. Fernao-Pires a Portuguese wild bush vine planted by the growers grandad 40 years ago as an experiment. This is a powerful wine that doesn’t have a great deal of skin contact so is more white than orange. The wine is fermented as whole bunches in a big container. The in your face label was inspired by the AC/DC font.
As the weather gets warmer and spring dances in, we've put together our curated March Wine Case Packs
Join us on Thursday 31st March from 7pm
🍊 Hooked, want to learn + taste more then join us on Thursday 31st March for our Orange Wine Tasting. We're going to be tasting upstairs in Bottles 'N' Jars beautiful mezzanine from 7pm so join Bert & Jac for a night of great wine + nibbles from 7pm to 8pm
- Four delicious & varied Orange wines to taste
- Tasting sheet
- 10% off any of the wines on the night
We’ll taste through four styles of contrasting wines, talk about how orange wine is made, how to pick the one that’s right for you, chat about ‘natural wine’ +paired all delicious snacks & excellent company.
The Engine Rooms restaurant will be open next door for anyone wanting to stay on for dinner + more wine. Please book in advance via their website www.theenginerooms.co.uk or by calling them on 0203 4042490
If you’ve ever been confused or curious about orange wine or natural wine then this is the tasting for you. Join solo, a couple, or even book as a group, see you on the 31st.